Mariah Larke
Mariah.jpg

Losing everything was a crucible; Mariah passed through it and learned about her true self. In the wake of disaster and tragedy, she picked her self up, pulled it together and did what she had to to survive. She made her way as a lovable prostitute here in Dornie, right up until the moment she stopped enjoying it. It took five years, but she left to take up an apprenticeship and employment that let her keep her clothes on.


Info

Full Name: Mariah Josephine Larke
Age: 25
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Green

Status: Alive
Occupation: Ex-Prostitute, Apprentice Seamstress at Pins and Needles
Origin: South of England
Allegiance: Independant

First Seen: Romantic Complications
Last Seen: None

Description: Brown hair hangs down past her waist, framing pale, soft skin, green eyes and cupid’s bow lips. In short, she’s easy to look at. She dresses more conservatively since she left the oldest profession, and while she retains her good humor, friendly manner and general likability, she keeps a bit of distance; not on display and not for sale. Her voice is gentle, warm and impossible to ignore. But she's as easy to talk to as she is to look at, with the odd comfort that comes with her voice.
There is one bit of attire she’s never seen without, a delicate chain with a stone pendant hanging between her collarbones. The pendant is a deep green with splashes of bloodstone's trademark red, with copper wire wrapping around it and set in swirls against it. She doesn't seem to care if it exactly matches whatever clothes she wears on any given day, giving the impression it's something of sentimental value. Or maybe it's because of bloodstone's rumored protective and magical qualities.

Family:

  • Horatio Larke † - Father
  • Josephine Larke (formerly Benoit) † - Mother
  • Preston Larke - Brother (assumed dead)

Portrayed by: Drew Barrymore


History


"My pride fell with my fortunes." -Shakespeare

Horaito was a merchant from the time he could pick things up. His father taught him and he took over his father’s business when he was old enough. At the time, the Larkes lived in the south of England, and were one of the few merchants who made trips deep into France, to bring back rare items and little treasures. On one such trip, Horaito brought back a wife. Josephine. It had been a whirlwind romance and one that culminated in marriage without his father’s knowledge or approval. Things were rocky for years, even after they supplied the man with grandchildren, he was never happy. Less so, even, as watching his son bend to his wife’s method of child-rearing and household-running got further and further under his skin. Eventually, he went to Horatio with a demand. She goes or they all go.

The fight that followed is how Horaito and Josephine came to Dornie, in search of a new life far from his father’s usual haunts.

It took them a while to whittle a foothold into the town, but it proved a good opportunity to teach the children about the business. After all, it was a forgone conclusion in his mind that they, too, would take up the family business.

They were a happy family, and eventually a successful one. Mariah and her brother both thrived in their life, in the schooling and with their peers. Her brother even started going on their supply runs and Mariah was put in charge of matters at home, minding the house and the market so her mother could join her father in his travels.

Mariah liked it when everyone was away, she liked her privacy, she liked being in charge and most of all, she felt safer about being herself. It was instinct rather than planning that led her to keeping her magic a secret. Her familiar, her odd abilities, it was all her own secret. She never even told her brother about it, although she confided most other secrets to him. When everyone was away, she spent more time focused on her familiar and getting more familiar with her voice. And when her family returned, she toned it down, kept it quiet.

She was about twenty when her family went on their last run. Witnesses on the roads came in with the story about how bandits took them in the forest, stole their inventory and left none alive. The news hit Mariah hard. For weeks after the news, she wouldn’t leave the house. Her family had been sent into the afterlife in a far away town, so she didn’t even get the closure that funeral rites are rumored to give.

And in this moment of tragedy, life opted to kick her when she was down. Mariah learned that much of her father’s success was due to some loans he took out and in his death, his debtors came to collect. She was left with what she could fit into a pack and carry along with her. Everything else went into repaying the loans.

It took about a week before she realized there were very few choices open to her. No money, no family, no standing. There weren’t a lot of people jumping to help her out. When her feet took her to The Dovetail, it was the last place in the world she’d ever expected to land, but also the most acceptable to her. She hadn’t done much in the way of truly hard manual labor and life working in a factory (or worse) seemed more soul crushing than prostitution.

Plus, Madame Edme had a reputation for taking in the less fortunate.

It was no small surprise when she turned out not to mind the work. She even enjoys it in her own way more often than not. Plus, it was steady work, good pay and offered her the opportunity to keep up her networking skills. It started as a way to survive, but now she’s not sure she would ever really walk away, even if given the opportunity.

Unless it was for something really good.


Personality

Mariah is easy to like. Her manner is gentle, her smile welcoming and she just seems very casual most of the time. She comes at life with a warm sense of humor, handling the fact that just about everyone around her knows the tragedy of her past and the steps that brought her to a life of prostitution with a wink and a smile. So to speak. She is unapologetic about her job, her occasional bluntness and playful teasing, in fact, she relies on them to hide her deeper undercurrents.

Because it's really all about survival at this point in her life. She lost everything when her family was killed and since that moment, her priorities have shifted. Her decisions now are all about what is best for Mariah. There's a feeling deep down that she can't truly count on anyone but herself. Very few gain the trust it takes for her too lean on them or confide in them. Unless it's what she must do to survive.

And to that end, she found her former job very fulfilling. She has a lot of contacts, she makes herself an easy and trustworthy confidante and she likes building a network she can tap into later, should something happen. Plus, having a little blackmail is a good plan B; no one wants their virile reputation tarnished, after all.


Magic

Masque.jpg
Badger Badger Badger

Mariah's voice is a little odd. Passively, when she speaks, people want to listen. They might not agree with her, and they might not even believe her, but they'll listen. There's a comforting quality to it, particularly for people who are looking for comfort.

On the active side, when she decides to be more pointed with her magic, she can do things like… luring listeners in her direction or lulling them into a stupor and leaving them dazed in the wake of her pseudo attack. If she spends more time on it, she can drop them into a deep sleep.

Limitations are, obviously, people have to be able to actually hear her voice (although it's not necessary that they can make out the words), so anyone out of earshot or anyone who happens to be deaf won't be affected. Also, her magic doesn't know friend from foe and as such everyone who can hear her will suffer the effects whether she wants them to or not.

Her familiar is (currently) a Badger named Masque. He isn't one to change shape often, and even now, only does so under special circumstances. For the longest time, she had only seen him alter his shape when he went from her childhood standard of a deer to the badger he is now upon the death of her family.



For more, see Character Notes For Mariah and her logs.